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Lakeport city employee suspected in embezzlement

A Lakeport man employed until recently as the city's utilities superintendent was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of embezzlement and misappropriation of more than $6,500 in public funds, police said.

The arrest of Matthew Allen "Matt" Johnson, 36, resulted from a five-week investigation that started July 16 when city personnel contacted police about accounting discrepancies, Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen said.

The Lake County District Attorney's Office ultimately issued an arrest warrant for Johnson alleging seven felony counts of embezzlement and seven felony counts of misappropriation of public funds, police said.

Johnson was arrested Wednesday morning and booked into the Lake County Jail with bail of $20,000.

"It is important to note that hardworking and honest city staff immediately reported this matter and took steps to ensure that it was handled quickly and efficiently," Rasmussen said in a statement.

Rasmussen and Public Works Director Mark Brannigan otherwise declined to comment on the investigation or detail Johnson's employment history with the city.


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